New COVID-19 Positive Test Dashboard Being Launched By Ohio Department of Health

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(COLUMBUS) — The Ohio Department of Health will add a new dashboard Monday that will show the number of positive COVID-19 tests in each of Ohio’s 88 counties.

“What we had before was aggregate reporting, which really was a lot manual reporting from the lab where they would gather up their data, positivity and negativity and send us aggregate information,” said Ohio Department of Health Chief Medical Officer Dr. Bruce Vanderhoff.

The new dashboard will allow people to see in each county, the number of positive tests in a two-week time frame. It will be updated every Monday.

“What this actually does is provide us an electronic feed, with an indication of that positive or negative result of the residents’ location of the person with the positive or negative. So now this electronic feed actually allows us to feed information at a county level,” said Vanderhoff.

The federal Health and Human Services Department issued guidance back in June 2020 for states to report individual-level data with a deadline of August 2020. However, it’s only now that the state of Ohio is doing this.

Ohio Department of Health Chief Medical Officer Dr. Bruce Vanderhoff says it took a while to build.

“This is not as simple as turning a switch. This is information that has to be accurate, it has to be valid and for an electronic system to work and one that you can rely on, it’s got to have the vast majority of your hundreds of labs actively providing that feed,” said Vanderhoff.

The dashboard could also mean local health officials could determine if restrictions are put in place rather than the state.

“The more granular our information is, the more local the decision-making can be. But that’s a step or two away from where we are,” Vanderhoff.

J&J Vaccine Reopen For Receiving in Ohio

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(COLUMBUS)—Following the recommendation from the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization (ACIP) that the use of Johnson & Johnson vaccine resume in the U.S., Governor Mike DeWine has released the following statement:

“Our country’s vaccine safety system has worked as designed – these extremely rare, serious blood-clotting events were reported into the CDC’s Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS), and the vaccine distribution was paused to allow a thorough review of the facts and time to educate healthcare providers on the rare events. Now, a comprehensive analysis by the independent medical professionals on the ACIP has resulted in the recommendation that the benefits of Johnson & Johnson vaccine outweigh the risks, and that vaccine administration resume. The CDC and FDA have accepted those recommendations, lifting the pause on the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine. Providers in Ohio are permitted to immediately resume administering Johnson & Johnson vaccines in Ohio, provided they continue to follow all guidance by the CDC and FDA.”

The Ohio Department of Health is issuing guidance to providers to ensure they have access to the latest information on the use of Johnson & Johnson vaccines, and that healthcare providers are aware of treatment methods for these extremely rare but potentially life-threatening cases of thrombosis with thrombocytopenia syndrome (TTS).

According to the FDA, people who have received the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine and develop shortness of breath, chest pain, leg swelling, persistent abdominal pain, neurological symptoms (including severe or persistent headaches or blurred vision), or petechiae beyond the site of vaccination should seek immediate medical care.

Additional information on mass vaccination clinics, mobile vaccine strategies, and specific sites resuming Johnson & Johnson are not available at this time. Officials with the Ohio Department of Health will continue to follow this situation closely.

Additional resources from the CDC and FDA:

State Patrol Presents “Saved By The Belt” To Frankfort Woman

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(Chillicothe) — Karlene Kellis of Frankfort has joined Ohio’s “Saved by the Belt” Club after her safety belt saved her from sustaining life-threatening injuries. The crash occurred on state Route 104 in Ross County on February 5.

Ohio State Highway Patrol Lieutenant Timothy J. Karwatske, Chillicothe Post commander, presented her with a “Saved by the Belt” certificate signed by Ohio Department of Public Safety Director Thomas J. Stickrath and Colonel Richard S. Fambro, Patrol superintendent.

“Karlene is a living testimony to the effectiveness of safety belts,” Lieutenant Karwatske said. “Everyone needs to buckle up every trip, every time.”

Provisional data from 2020 shows 487 people in Ohio were killed in traffic crashes where a safety belt was available, but not in use.

The “Saved by the Belt” Club is a joint effort by the Ohio Department of Public Safety and more than 400 Ohio law enforcement agencies. This club is designed to recognize people who have benefited from their decision to wear safety belts.

Karlene also received a “Saved by the Belt” license plate bracket.